There's no miracle cure to help your hair grow both longer and stronger faster, but that said these 10 steps are bound to help make your hair healthier all the way down to the root – stimulating hair growth as a result
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Have you found yourself typing “how to make hair grow faster” into Google? You're not alone. If you, like us have gone down the rabbit hole of hair growth, you've probably learned that hair grows, on average, six inches per year. Genetics play a role, as does general health, so some of us will sprout more new follicles than others.
While the general consensus is that there’s little you can do to speed up hair growth, there are still some tricks you can have up your sleeve to boost your luscious lock. From creating the optimal environment for healthy roots to sealing up the cuticle to prevent breakage, here are 10 easy ways to help you grown your hair faster, longer and stronger:
1. Treat your scalp like your skin
There is a strong relation between a healthy scalp and healthy hair. “When the scalp is in good condition – smooth, with no redness – there is blood circulation in the hair follicle,” says Sacha Mitic, co-founder of Swedish haircare brand Sachajuan. “This creates a healthy base for hair growth.”
Unfortunately there’s a multitude of modern-day aggressors that can throw the scalp out of balance. These include stress, airborne pollution and a heavy reliance on pore-clogging dry shampoo. That's why a sugar-based scalp scrub should be a non-negotiable in your routine, gently exfoliating away stubborn dirt once a week.
2. Blow-dry on a low setting
It may sound counterintuitive, but don’t leave hair to dry naturally. A single strand of hair can absorb up to 30 per cent of its own weight in water. This, in turn, causes it to swell and lose elasticity, while the bonds that hold the hair together weaken. “Gently blow drying with the right hairdryer on the lowest heat and speed setting until it is 90 per cent dry, is actually better for the hair,” says hair stylist Cim Mahony.
3. Commit to hydrating treatments
Typically, pre-shampoo treatments in the form of oils, balms or masks, applied to the hair before cleansing, support scalp health and help to protect against frayed ends.
If you rely heavily on heat styling, turn to a twice-weekly damage-repairing mask to shuttle nourishing ingredients such as organic argan oil and bioactive microalgae from Iceland’s Blue Lagoon into the hair. Pay special attention to the tips as they’re the oldest and driest part of your strands.
4. Start bonding
Hair that frequently snaps off won’t grow past a certain length. That’s where bonding treatments step in as your closest ally. Hair is made up of keratin fibres, which are held together by bonds — the most important of these being disulphide bonds.
Applied like a mask, the Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector contains a patented molecule, which works from inside hair strands to strengthen bonds that have become weakened as a result of bleaching or general wear and tear.
5. Boost your protein intake
Similarly, hair is made up of protein so it makes sense to top up its reserves. “Protein ensures hair remains strong and in its growth phase for as long as possible,” says hairstylist Luke Hersheson. “Eggs and fish are good or, if you’re vegetarian, add plenty of beans, lentils and pulses to your plate.” Also worth noting: breakfast and lunch are the most important meals for your hair as the energy to form hair cells is lowest at the beginning of the day.
Related: 5 ways to beat frizzy hair in winter
6. Sleep on a silk pillowcase
To avoid a halo of frizz when you wake up, your hair needs to rest on a silk pillowcase as "silk won’t deplete your hair’s moisture while you sleep,” according to Mahony. He adds that, unlike cotton, this gentle fabric won’t create friction that roughs up the hair’s cuticle.
7. Consciously cleanse
We know what you’re thinking. “Shampoo? Isn’t it meant to leave hair squeaky-clean?” No, washing away too much of the good stuff could leave strands lacklustre. After all, hair should always be in a better state after you’ve washed it than before.
According to Lars Skjødt, founder of Harklinikken, that means being mindful of the ingredients in your lather. “Every time you use a shampoo that contains high amounts of sodium laureth sulphate, combined with mineral oils, you compromise your hair and strip it of the proteins and natural oils that are distributed from the hair follicle,” he says. Rather, zero in on replenishing ingredients such as avocado oil, aloe vera, glycerin and antioxidant-rich grape seed extract that replace moisture lost through the washing process.
8. Snack on sunflower seeds
Where sunflower seeds look unassuming, on closer inspection you’ll find they’re a powerhouse of vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, potassium and zinc – basically everything healthy hair craves. “Hair cells are the second fastest-growing cells in the body so need a near constant supply of energy,” says Hersheson.“Sunflower seeds give follicles the best source of fuel.”
9. Book in for regular micro-trims
Given the average rate of hair growth, if you have hair that is six inches long, the ends are a year old. Now consider all the colour appointments and different hair styles you’ve tried in that time. The harsh truth is that waiting too long between trims means split ends can work their way up the hair shaft and more inches will need to eventually be sheared away. Micro-trims, also known as ‘dusting’, involve snipping a mere eighth of an inch of ends damaged by physical stress or hot tools.
10. Top up with daily supplements
Shop our favourite products to grow your hair longer and stronger:
Supersonic in black/nickel
Deep conditioning repair hair mask
No.3 hair perfector
Mulberry silk pillowcase
Holiroots hydrating shampoo
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